Matchup Memories: Dolphins-Chargers

1. Jan. 2, 1982 — It’s impossible to discuss the Dolphins-Chargers series without bringing up the AFC divisional playoff game at the Orange Bowl in the 1981 season. Though the Dolphins ended up losing in overtime, they mounted an incredible comeback from a 24-0 first-quarter deficit and actually led 38-31 before the Chargers tied it up. The game, which featured epic passing performances by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts and Dolphins backup Don Strock, has often been mentioned as perhaps the greatest in NFL history. The Dolphins got a measure of revenge the following season when they beat the Chargers, 34-13, in the AFC playoffs.

2. Oct. 27, 2003 — The last time the Dolphins and Chargers played somewhere other than San Diego or Miami came on that Monday night nearly 14 years ago. The game was moved from San Diego to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, because of wildfires in Southern California. The Dolphins beat the Chargers, 26-10, thanks to three touchdown passes by Brian Griese, the son of Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese. The defense, meanwhile, recorded six sacks and three interceptions against Chargers quarterback Drew Brees.

3. Oct. 5, 2008 — A victory at New England when the Dolphins unveiled their Wildcat formation is what a lot of fans remember about the 2008 season, but their next game also was impressive. After a bye in Week 4, the Dolphins’ first game after their 38-13 victory at New England was a home affair against the Chargers. The Dolphins won 17-10 that day and perhaps the most impressive part of the victory was their ability to use their running game to kill off the final 5:55 while holding a seven-point lead. That final 14-play drive included nine runs, two kneel-downs and only three passes.

4. Nov. 2, 2014 — The Dolphins’ most lopsided victory of the past 20 years and their most lopsided shutout victory since 1987 came a little less than three years ago against the Chargers at what was then known as Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins scored on seven of their first nine possessions on their way to a 37-0 victory that gave them a 5-3 record at the halfway point of the season. After the Dolphins stopped San Diego on a fourth-and-1 from the Miami 22 on the opening drive, the Chargers didn’t take another offensive snap beyond their 38-yard line.

5. Nov. 13, 2016 — This, of course, was the Kiko Alonso pick-six game. In a game that featured four lead changes in the second half, things weren’t looking great for the Dolphins when the Chargers had a first-and-10 at the Miami 42-yard line with 1:13 left in regulation in a 24-24 game. But Alonso read Philip Rivers’ eyes, stepped in front of the intended receiver to make the interception and returned the pick 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown before punctuating the whole thing with a Conor McGregor strut in the end zone. The victory was the fourth of six in a row for the Dolphins, a winning streak that helped turn a 1-4 start into a playoff season under first-year Head Coach Adam Gase.